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TV Review: Show finds grace, hope hidden in dark corners

A young, newly-minted nurse is dispatched to the home of an aging veteran to tend the old war wounds in his leg that never healed. While she’s initially repelled by his roach-infested apartment, the old man’s gentle, upbeat spirit soon wins her over. He has managed to sustain it, even after losing his family, and […]

Pretzels: Lent’s official snack

And you thought pretzels were just a salty, crunchy snack. At some United Methodist churches, the humble pretzel is a tasty sign of the arrival of Lent.  A few, like Sumner United Methodist in Sumner, Wash., even set aside “Pretzel Sunday,” typically on the first Sunday of Lent. At Emmanuel UMC in Fleetwood, Pa., “Pretzel […]

Q&A: Women as social gospel practitioners

History has largely ignored the work of churchwomen, according to the Rev. Ellen Blue, and she’s written a book in hopes of beginning to change that. A professor of the history of Christianity and United Methodist studies at Phillips Theological Seminary in Oklahoma, she is the author of St. Mark’s and the Social Gospel: Methodist […]

Give it up – UMs mark Lent by giving up, giving away and helping out

Two or three times a week, Allison Griffin meets business associates at a Starbucks around town. Each time, she pays $3.75 for an iced espresso drink. But during Lent, which began Feb. 13 and ends on Easter Sunday, March 31, Ms. Griffin is foregoing the espresso and making do with a cup of ice water. […]

Q&A: On knowing and editing H. Nouwen

Many people have come to know Henri Nouwen (1932-1996) through his prolific writings on the spiritual life. John Mogabgab came to know him personally—from 1975 to 1980, Dr. Mogabgab served as an assistant to Nouwen. Recently, he edited A Spirituality of Homecoming, the latest in an Upper Room Books series based on Nouwen’s writings. Dr. […]

All work, no pay – Aid ministry thrives under volunteer director

DALLAS—For the past 15 years, Judy Rorrie has worked 60 hours a week as executive director of North Dallas Shared Ministries: managing an annual budget of about $1 million, directing some 500-plus volunteers, overseeing an emergency aid operation and food pantry, and maintaining relationships with the 50-plus congregations that support the ministry. And now, at […]

Q&A: Lenten study on Jesus’ miracles

In his new book, The Miracles of Jesus: Meditations and Prayers for Lent (Upper Room Books, 2012), the Rev. Wessel Bentley says the miracles of Jesus, performed 2,000 years ago, can still change hearts and lives today. Mr. Bentley, an ordained minister in the Methodist Church of Southern Africa, is a part-time lecturer in the […]

Ashes to go: Starting Lent outside the four walls

These days, you don’t have to darken the door of a church to experience Ash Wednesday. Following a strategy that’s gathering momentum, United Methodist pastors and lay folk will bring the ashes to the people—to hurried commuters in train stations in Texas, to pedestrians on busy street corners in New York and Chicago, to patrons […]

Generation Wesley – John Wesley Fellows keep founder’s flame alive

John Wesley is long gone, but a fellowship program bearing his name is going strong and helping to keep his approach to theology alive. Since 1977, the John Wesley Fellowship Program has provided grants each year to about 20 United Methodist seminary students as they pursue doctoral degrees. As part of the Fellowship, the students […]

Q&A: Words to recharge men’s spiritual lives

Derek Maul wants to inspire more men to go “all out” for their Christian faith. That’s the topic of his recently published book, 10 Life-Charged Words: Real Faith for Real Men (Upper Room Books, 2012). Mr. Maul worships at First Presbyterian Church in Brandon, Fla., where his wife, Rebekah, is senior pastor. He answered questions […]

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